Drew Dollar, in his fifth career ARCA Menards Series start, was in the right place at the right time Saturday and took the checkered flag during the General Tire 200 at Talladega Superspeedway.
Dollar, a 19-year-old from Atlanta, GA, maneuvered his Venturini Motorsports Toyota from third place up to the lead when the front twosome of Riley Herbst and Michael Self got together going into turn three coming to the white flag. The result saw Herbst have to let off the gas while Self had a slow half spin, but incredibly straightened it out without incident. The door was left open for Dollar, who shot to the lead and never looked back.
“I was giving Self a good push and was content to push him to the checkered flag,” said Dollar. “I saw him town down a little and the 18 (Herbst) touched. No one is giving an inch because we all want to win late in the race. Luckily they didn’t come up into me and finish wrecking.”
Dollar was able to hold off the drafting duo of Ryan Repko and local Munford, AL favorite, Bret Holmes, who made a late run but fell short.
“I thought I was going to have to throw a pretty desperate block at the end. I didn’t want to wreck all of us. I was pushing the pedal through the floorboard. I love the trophy. It’s the coolest ever,” he said of the track’s “Hammer & Anvil” trophy, which was created in honor of The Vulcan statue in nearby Birmingham.
The margin of victory was .115 second and there was just one caution, which tied a Talladega Superspeedway ARCA record. The average speed was 176.665 mph, another ‘Dega record.
Herbst wound up fourth with Self fifth. Rounding out the top 10 were Thad Moffitt, Hailie Deegan, Jason Kitzmiller, Sean Corr and Ed Pompa.
Talladega Superspeedway, NASCAR’s biggest and Most Competitive track, will be one of the first sports venues to have a return of fans – up to 5,000 – in attendance in Sunday’s GEICO 500 NASCAR Cup Series race. Set for a 2:00 PM CDT start, it will be broadcast LIVE on FOX, MRN Radio and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90. Chase Elliott is the race’s defending champion. For information, visit www.talladegasuperspeedway.com or call 1-877-Go2-DEGA.
NASCAR’s modified event procedures, protocols and number of attendees for the GEICO 500 have been finalized with guidance from public health officials, medical experts and local, state and federal officials. In order to adhere to local social distancing guidelines, the limited number of guests will be allowed in the frontstretch grandstands/towers. In addition, there are limited motorhome/5th-wheel camping spots available outside the track high atop the Alabama Superstretch.